Autism patients are getting some positive information coming out over potential new treatments after the discovery of excessive neural synapses has given new life to researchers investigating the disease.
The study published in the journal Neuron appears to suggest that Autism patients' brains do not prune neurons during development as in most other people.
This has given more understanding of autism as a disorder that sees hyper-connectivity gone awry in the brain, according to the researchers from Columbia University Medical Center. They looked at the brains of children who were dead, those with autism and those without, to get a better understanding of how each individual's brain functions.
The research pushes the idea that autism, which can see issues arise in social engagement, communication problems and repetitive behavior increase, could potentially be treated by using the understanding of targeting pathways and neural connections via drug use.
There is no cure for autism and the reason behind why some people develop the disorder remains largely a mystery, but the research should help in developing the overall medical understanding of the disease in order to treat it better.
"This is an important finding that could lead to a novel and much-needed therapeutic strategy for autism," said Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, in a statement. He wasn't involved in the study.
The research uncovered that the tissue from a region of the brain involved in communication and social processes was much more hyper-active in the autism patients.
The condition, which hampers a child's normal development as well as affects his social and communication skills, appears to be already present long before the baby is born, Tech Times reports.
Earlier this year, a study entitled "Patches of Disorganization in the Neocortex of Children with Autism" published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that patchy changes in a baby's developing brain while still in the womb may be responsible for the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is a condition which affects about one in 88 children in the U.S.
Still, in both studies, the authors of the reports remain realistic about what the new research can and can't achieve. They warn against people believing that this pushes the medical world toward a potential cure for the disorder, which researchers say needs more time to understand the complete process by which someone comes to be autistic.